‘The need is real’: Riley County looking to replace dated EMS facility

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan (KSNT) – Riley County EMS works every day to save lives across Riley County. But the ability to do that work effectively is becoming a challenge with a dated facility, according to EMS director David Adams.

“The struggle we have is really just space and it’s the fact that this building is over 40 years old,” Adams said.

As equipment has become more advanced and bigger, the space simply is not large enough to meet the needs of Riley County EMS any longer.

Riley County EMS Director David Adams showing the cramped space behind ambulances in the Riley County EMS Facility on April 14, 2021. KSNT News/Noah Ochsner

“The equipment that we use now is much bigger. There is a lot more equipment and the needs to house this equipment and to be able to function is just very very difficult for us,” Adams said.

The number of calls Riley County EMS responds to has grown over the years as well. According to Adams, when the facility was built the department was responding to about 1,500 calls a year. Fast forward to the present, the department now responds to nearly 4,600 calls every year.

The space is not only a challenge for the equipment, but it is also a challenge for the employees. The space is cramped and doesn’t offer much logistical functionality.

“We moved the shift captain into my old office so that they would be able to have one person per bedroom in this building,” Adams said. “The difficulty with that is now their office is in here, so if they need to talk to an employee about anything, any reason they bring them into the office, the employee has to sit on the captain’s bed while the captain talks to them.”

Riley County EMS Shift Captain Office – KSNT News/Noah Ochsner

Still, the facility struggles with sleeping spaces, forcing co-ed sleeping to occur, which is something Adams hopes to put an end to.

He presented to the Riley County Board of Commissioners on Monday about the department’s challenges. So far they have been “supportive,” he said.

Riley County is exploring options on how to expand or replace the facility. At this time there is no timeline as to when the project will start or be completed.

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